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A fatal stabbing Sunday afternoon in Franklin leaves one local man dead and another behind bars.

On Sunday afternoon, Macon County dispatch received a call around 1 p.m. regarding a fight that had broken out at 21 Kirkland Road. The 911 report shows that emergency personnel were advised that they were responding to a patient who was hemorrhaging. First Responders from the Franklin Fire Department and ambulances from the Macon County EMS, along with the Macon County Sheriff’s Department immediately reported to the scene.

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Two candidates explain why they want the job.

With the conclusion of the filing period for the 2014 election, candidates are gearing up for the campaign season. While many candidates will not see their name on the ballot until the November general election, several local and state offices will have a primary in May to decide between candidates of the same party.

The Macon County News will cover candidate profiles on all primary candidates between now and May, and will then profile candidates vying for seats in November.

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A former Macon County youth sports coach was sentenced to 33 to 50 years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to sex crimes against a child. Christopher Lee Burk was sentenced in Macon County court and will be spending at least the next three decades incarcerated by the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

“Burk pled guilty to three counts of sexual offense on a child by an adult, three counts of first degree sexual exploitation of a child, one count of child abuse by committing a sexual offense, and three counts of indecent liberties,” said Assistant District Attorney Ashley Welch. “He received an active sentence of 33 years minimum to 50 years maximum. On the three indecent liberties charges he received three, 16 to 29 month sentences and those were suspended and he will be on five years of supervised probation on those if he lives long enough to serve his active sentence. He must be on satellite based monitoring for life and must register for 30 years after his release as a sex offender.”

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Charles Nichols files challenge with board of elections.

Macon County’s commissioner candidate line-up could be changing. Tuesday morning, Debbie T. George, Interim Director for the Macon County Board Elections sent out a public notice regarding the calling of candidacy.

On Monday, March 3, Charles Nichols challenged the candidacy of Commissioner Ron Haven. Haven is seeking re-election to his District 2 commission seat.

 

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Town board agrees to discuss resolution of ownership.

The debate regarding the Nikwasi Indian Mound may soon see a resolution. Monday night, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Michell Hicks spoke to the Franklin Town Aldermen in hopes of beginning talks regarding the preservation of the historic landmark.

“I have a simple request … obviously the Eastern Band feels, for many reasons, that the mound should be back in the name of the Eastern Band,” said Hicks. “I understand that may not be a simple task as it relates to the history of the mound and the responsibility of the town. One of the things that is important to us as a tribe is to make sure that we are at least part of the process of protecting these lands, these areas that are so rich from a spiritual and cultural perspective. I feel a true responsibility as a tribal leader. As requested by many of our tribal leaders, we want to do our best to do the right thing.”

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A former Macon County Educator was arrested by the State Bureau of Investigations last week and charged with statutory rape of a 15 year-old-girl. Following an investigation, David Milhous Peterson, 32,  was charged with felony statutory rape. At the time of the investigation, Peterson was employed as a deputy with the Swain County Sheriff’s Office assigned as a school resource officer (SRO) at East Swain Elementary.

Peterson was arrested by the SBI and was placed in the Macon County Detention Center. Peterson posted bond at $50,000, according to Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland. The case remains under investigation by the SBI.

According to Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran, Peterson was new on the job. “The SBI is still investigating and we won’t have anything until the investigation is completed, however Peterson was only employed with us for approximately three weeks and was under supervision during this time,” said Cochran.

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After reviewing cost estimates, tax assessments and anticipated insurance settlement proceeds, the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of Western Carolina University has decided against replacing or repairing three dining establishments damaged by a November fire.

The board of the Endowment Fund, which owns the commercial strip along Centennial Drive in the center of the WCU campus where the fire occurred, has agreed to proceed with demolition of the property, followed by private development of a new mixed-use facility on the site.

In reaching its conclusion, the board weighed factors such as the historic significance of the property to the campus community, the contributions to WCU culture made by private businesses operating in the center of campus, and ongoing support by members of the campus community for owners and employees of the affected businesses.

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Erik Rhysdon of W.K. Dickson, a consulting firm out of Charlotte was present at Tuesday's Macon County Airport Authority meeting to give the board an update on a variety of issues that the authority has had in the works over the last year.

He first gave an update on a pending grant that had recently been received.

“We have received $166,000 for the apron rehab that was recently carried out leaving a remaining balance of $21,000,” said Rhysdon.

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With the departure of Chairman Derek Roland from the Macon County Planning Board, Chris Hanners was appointed to the position while Joe Deal was appointed as vice chairman, at the February meeting held last Tuesday.

“It's important to remember that we're at the direction of the commissioners,” said Hanners. “We need to consider the mission statement and keep that in mind as we move forward.”

The mission of the planning board is “to develop and advocate public policy and procedure to preserve the integrity of our mountain heritage, the beauty and tranquility of our communities, as well as our natural environment for the benefit of current populations as well as future generations while sustaining economic vitality and the social welfare of our citizens.”

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Macon County Commissioners recently directed the county planning board to review county owned property to determine potential uses for individual sites or the possibility that the properties be designated surplus.

The planning board completed the assessment and Macon County Planner Matt Mason reported the board’s finding to commissioners at the February meeting.

According to Mason, the planning board reviewed nine different properties owned by the county and one owned by the school board.

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published: 10/18/2013
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